MOSCOW Winter road management dilemma: anti-icing
chemicals, now used on a large number of roadways in the winter,
have proven to significantly reduce crash rates on icy roads.
However, the chemicals (predominately a form of chloride
) can corrode truck parts, including aluminum wheels, brakes
and electrical wiring, and be detrimental to roadways, all
of which can result in catastrophic failures as well.
A team from the Technology Transfer Center at the University
of Idaho has begun a project to analyze winter road management
practices and the pros and cons of using such anti-icing chemicals
as calcium, magnesium and sodium chloride, and their corrosive
They also will determine the run-off effects of such chemicals.
With their findings, the team will develop an educational
plan to reduce any associated problems.
"The American Trucking Associations documented resulting
corrosion costs at approximately $23 billion annually,"
said Douglas Moore, director of the project. "This includes
structural damage to trucks and highway infrastructure."
He said his team's unbiased study will bring together private
industry, manufacturers, county, state, and federal governments
and regulatory agencies to determine the scope of the problems
and possible preventive measures.
The Idaho Technology Transfer Center is a part of UI's National
Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT) and
Idahos Local Transportation Assistance Program (LHTAC).
Resources include engineering, materials science and corrosion
chemistry facilities. The Idaho Transportation Department
and trucking industries will augment resources for the project.
Investigators besides Moore are Bruce Drewes, training and
research manager, Clayton Sullivan, project manager, and select
graduate students. They began the study last July and expect
to have conclusions and training materials by 2006.